Bubbles work wonders

There are a few toys that all Speech Pathologists have to elicit speech from children. Parents can easily  use these toys at home as well.  For preschool students who are not very verbal, toys that require them to ask for assistance will work wonders toward getting your child to start verbalizing.  Here are some things you can do with your child to help him/her to start verbalizing.

Requesting:  Words such as “open”, “more,” “help,” and “want” are all great words to teach your child to help them start requesting.  Before blowing the next set of bubbles from the wand,  model the word, “more,” for your child.  After modeling the expected word a few times, pause before blowing the bubbles to see if your child will independently request for bubbles.

Vocabulary and Concepts:  Words you can model include-bubbles, blow, big, little, many,few, pop, wet, and dry.  Speak at the level of your child and expand on what he/she says.  For example, if your child is at the one word level, you can say 1-2 words to describe what you are doing.  For example, you can say, “I blow,” or “big bubble.”

Turn Taking:  Take turns blowing  bubbles with your child.  This will practice early social skills that are important to your child’s development.  While turn taking, you can practice pronouns: “I blow” and “you blow” as well as “my turn” and “your turn.”

Common Speech and Language Terms

Parents who have children diagnosed with a Speech or Language Disorder  may be overwhelmed and confused about various terms used during professional meetings. Here are some common terms that you may run into if your child is being assessed or receives speech therapy services:

Communication Disorder:  A broad term used to encompass difficulties with communication, which can include difficulties with speech or language.  These terms will be explained below.

Speech:  A term used to refer to the verbal means of communicating, which can include articulation, voice or fluency.

  • Articulation:  A term used to refer to the way that a person articulates or pronounces sounds.  For example, a child with articulation difficulties may say “tup” for the word “cup.”
  • Voice: A term used to refer to the way that a person is using his voice to communicate.  For example, a person who is abusing his voice may have a hoarse, cracky, or breathy voice.
  • Fluency:  A term used to refer to how rythmic or smooth a person’s speech is.   A person who stutters consistently may be considered a disfluent speaker.

Language:  A broad term used to identify children who may have difficulty understanding language (receptive language) or using language (expressive language).  This can include difficulties understanding or expressing words, or how to put words together to make a sentence.  This encompasses verbal communication and alternative means of communication, such as sign language.

  • Receptive Language:  A term used to refer to how well a person understands or comprehends language.
  • Expressive Language:  A term used to refer to how well a person can express himself through the use of language.

Pragmatics: A term used to refer to how a person uses language within a social context.  Difficulties with pragmatics may include difficulties with conversational turn taking, topic maintenance, or eye contact during interactions with others.